You can’t keep a good artist down, even if she/he/they have been touring and recording for 35 years or more. Here are 10 of the best album and video releases by classic rock artists in 2012.
Heart – Fanatic
Led by singers/songwriters/instrumentalists/sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, Heart delivered their 14th career studio album, containing as much energy and originality as their first release in 1976.
Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day
There was a lottery for the 18,000 seats available in London’s O2 Arena for a long awaited Led Zeppelin reunion concert in 2007. That’s a small fraction of the 20-million who were in the lottery. The concert, featuring the band’s three surviving original members, was released on DVD in 2012.
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
If you believe the critics, Bruce Springsteen’s 17th career studio album was “despairing,” “confrontational,” “turbulent” and “going for stadium bombast.” If you are a Springsteen fan, you ignored the critics and added another one to your collection.
Jimi Hendrix – Live at Berkeley
This 1970 Jimi Hendrix Experience concert has been released before, but the additional songs and digital remastering applied to the 2012 release made it sound far better than any of the earlier versions.
ZZ Top – La Futura
After a couple of lackluster (musically and commercially) albums, ZZ Top roared back with this release, reminiscent of the best of their rollicking ’70s albums.
Janis Joplin – Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968
This previously unreleased recording of Janis Joplin performing with Big Brother and The Holding Company showcases the top of the heap of live bands and singers during San Francisco’s days as ground zero for rock music innovation.
Ian Anderson – Thick as a Brick 2
Forty years after Jethro Tull broke through with Thick as a Brick in 1972, Ian Anderson (composer- vocalist-flutist on the original) composed and performed the sequel to the story of a young lad struggling to understand life, now a 50-year-old just trying to make the best of it.
The Doors – Live at The Bowl ’68
The enhancements to this previously released performance by The Doors are so significant that three songs which had be unusable on earlier versions due to microphone problems were reconstructed, making this the first release that includes the entire concert.
KISS – Monster
The heavy metal/hard rock band with the Halloween costumes, KISS delivered their 20th studio release in 2012. Living up to its title, it reached the Top 5 of virtually ever country in the world that has an album chart.
Emerson Lake & Palmer – Live in California 1974
At their creative peak, ELP executed a nearly perfect performance for an audience of 200,000+ at 1974’s California Jam.